Sunday, January 29, 2017

I Believe!

I do Believe I have broken a record - THREE finishes in two weeks!  And these two were finished in the last three days - woohoo!!!

I Believe Sampler and En Provence

Full disclosure, these are only finished to the flimsy stage.  Since I don't have a longarm, it is sometimes a while before I'm able to quilt a finished top.  In my book, these are considered finishes :*)

I put the last of 3 borders on my I Believe sampler on Friday.  This was my One Monthly Goal project, as well as my Christmas UFO for January.  You can read earlier posts about this project here.  This is the first bed-size quilt I've ever made from start to finish in one month and I'm dizzy with happiness!!!  I pulled out the little packages of shop hop blocks a few days after Christmas and made a block every day I was at home.

Last week as time was getting close, I powered through by cutting all the pieces for the last three blocks and made piles of half-square triangles, which quickly turned into finished blocks :*)

Then I had to cut up the panel blocks and decide how I wanted to lay all the blocks together - this was an early layout....

At this point, I realized I didn't have as many of the coordinating fabrics in my stash as I had thought, which was a real problem because I needed a good variety of them for sashing all the blocks.  This is an older line and pretty much obsolete.  My friend Joanne came to my rescue by giving me the scraps left over from when she made her version of the quilt... Whew!!!

All of the pieced blocks from the shop hop use only red, green and gold fabrics, so I really took a chance by sashing all the panel blocks with a pretty aqua print from the line which I did have in my stash.  I wanted to pull out that lovely aqua in the background of all the pictures.  It looks more blue here, but it really is a soft pretty aqua - the first picture above is closer to the actual color :*)

I have to say, I love the light it brings into the overall look of the quilt!

I used a gold from my stash for the first inner border, then pulled that aqua back in with a fun stripe from the I Believe line for the second border.  That gorgeous red used for the outer border was one that I had thankfully purchased in yardage when I bought the blocks - it perfectly frames the quilt and pulls everything together.

My second finish is En Provence - Bonnie Hunter's 2016 mystery quilt.  I last left you with the quilt waiting for the pieced borders in this post.  I had to make about 50 more neutral 4-patches in order to have enough to finish the borders.

This afternoon I put the last stitch in this beauty!!!

I really love this design, and the neutral 4-patch border is a big part of what I love.  Bonnie's design seems to float majestically over the surface of the quilt.  I found a bright backing fabric in my stash and hope to have it quilted before too much time passes :*)

And last but certainly not least, Soul Searching is quilted!!!  

This was my Music City guild UFO for January, and Joanne was my savior again by allowing me to use her long arm to quilt it :*)  I can't remember the name of the panto, but it was a simple and fun circle design that worked up quickly...

And, believe it or not, I even managed to squeeze in a few hand stitches too...

This adorable little hummingbird is the center of my 11th Folk Art Album block.  I have to say I was delighted with how it turned out!  I'm also pretty happy to be getting near the end of these blocks :*)

So that's it for my week - how about yours?

Hugs & Blessings!

Linking up with the following FUN linky parties - check 'em out!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Back to the Rainbows!

Before I share my rainbow scrappy adventures in PURPLE today, I have another "purple" project to share ....

I have my En Provence center together!!!!

Oh my gosh - I'm so excited!!!  I'm working now on the borders and hope to have a finished top to share next week :*)  But - since it was Saturday, I put that aside this morning and joined lots of my friends in the effort to tame our purple scraps :*)

One of my favorite blog parties has always been Angela's Rainbow Scrap Challenge (RSC) which can be found over at her blog, SoScrappy.  Every ScrapHappy Saturday, she hosts a linky party where tons of scrappy quilters show off their stuff - rainbow-style!

I haven't been able to play along the past few years, but this year, I'm determined to carve out the time.  Actually, it's really more of a must because my scraps and crumbs runneth over!

You can see that my purple crumb jar is so full I'm having to just plop pieces on top of it!

At first I thought perhaps I would just do something with the crumbs this year, but then I remembered this pattern that has been in my "Really, Really Want to Make" file since, like, forever.....

This sweet quilt is such an ingenius design!  It's fairly simple, but looks really complicated.  The eye just roves all over it in delight!  It is called Geese Migration, and the talented Cynthia Brunz of Quilting is more fun than Housework is the designer.  My friend Libby from  Life on the Hill has been teasing me with her GM blocks for a while now, and every time I see one of her blocks I drool with envy.  Just yesterday, someone posted their completed GM quilt on Instagram and it was so gorgeous ... it was the last straw!  This is the year for me to start mine!

I decided to use my Marti Michell templates to cut the flying geese since I'll be making them one at a time.  Then I pulled out my purple scrap drawer and found lots to inspire me!

This is from a deconstructed shirt I cut up and used in a previous project...

And look at this one!  It is a sweet print from 2006 - which happens to be the year I really fell head over heels into the quilting rabbit hole :*)

The success of this pattern depends on the strategic use of blending color values together in the geese and squares.  This print gave me both a light and dark!

It was exciting to see the pieces all laid out for stitching up my first block!

 Rocky got on board with the project immediately =^..^=

This is not a great picture, but I'm in love with my first block!!!

Playing in my purple scraps was so much fun I just couldn't stop, so I pulled some purples and fuchsias and began to cut circles for the Quilty 365 Circles project that I started and left hanging last year ...

Aren't these yum???  Audrey over at Quilty Folk started this party last year.  She has since finished her quilt - and yes it's beautiful! - so for 2017, the link-up party can be found at Daisy and Jack Handmade.


This is another project that needs to get at least one day's attention each month this year.  I have maybe 50 done from last year, so lots more circles yet to be cut!  Then of course they have to be prepared for applique to the backgrounds....

You can read more about how I plan to do this project HERE if you are interested.

My time ran out today, but next Saturday I'll concentrate on my crumbs and try to tame them before they devour my studio LOL!!!

Hope you've had a lovely Saturday doing something stitchy :*)

Hugs & Blessings!

Linking up with the following FUN linky parties - check 'em out!

Saturday, January 14, 2017

I Love a Plan!

I love participating in the quarterly Finish-A-Long challenges each year!  I don't always (um, make that never) finish all my projects, but it really helps keep me focused on the ones that need my attention.  Like many of my fellow quilters, I'm a card-carrying squirrel-chaser and distraction is my middle name.  Whenever I begin to feel like I've wandered off and fallen down the rabbit hole, I can always turn to my planning wall to see what is next on my Finish-A-Long list :*)

This list obviously wasn't quite finished LOL!!!

Don't get me wrong - I love chasing squirrels with happy abandon!  Some of my favorite quilts have come from that instinctive latching onto the shiny new thing.  And sometimes it's a really fun surprise to find a project long forgotten at the bottom of a pile - often it just needs enough love to finish the borders or a binding.  It's good to sometimes step back from a current project and just work on something mindless and fun.  I find that I usually come back to it re-energized and stoked with new ideas.

But I am by nature a methodical girl.  I love a Plan!  And the only thing I love more than a Plan is working the Plan :*)  The more organized something is, the better chance it has of actually getting done in my universe.

Procrastination is my nemesis, and lack of focus my deadly enemy!  Preparation is the key for me to be successful in getting my quilts to the finish line, and the quarterly Finish-A-Long challenges fit into my planning goals perfectly.

What I love most about the Finish-A-Long is that it works in quarters, so I can plan my projects more long term than right now, or this week, or this month.  Even though I may be hot and heavy into En Provence or I Believe right now, with the Q1 list in front of me, I am also planning for the next couple of months.  I know to be looking for more blue and orange fabrics to go with the ones I have pulled for Hudson's Dreaming of Planes quilt the next time I'm in a fabric shop.  One quick glance reminds me to get the back stitched together for Soul Searching so that will be ready when my friend Joanne has a day open to let me come quilt it on her longarm.  And when I finish a project, I never have to ask myself "what's next?" - I just go to the next one on the list!

So without further ado - here's a list of my projects for the Q1 Finish-A-Long challenge this year, in no particular order.  Can you spot them in the collage at the top of the post?

Dreaming of Planes - this is a cuddle quilt for grandson Hudson.  I've made him a couple of small baby quilts, but he has informed me that now he is FIVE, his "baby" quilt is no longer long enough to cover his toes.  Can you tell that his favorite color is ORANGE?  Yes, the brighter and bolder the better, just like him.  The white polka dot orange in the background is a Minkee for a cuddly, snugly backing :*)

I Believe Sampler - this is my Christmas UFO for January and I've posted several times about it recently.  You can click on the name to see these posts.

En Provence - this is self-explanatory of course!  Bonnie's quilt is a beauty this year and we are seeing pictures of it all over the Blogaverse.  I'm making the small version with the hope of finishing it quickly.  All of my pieces are made and I'm assembling blocks now :*)

Bind Amish Beauties, Strip Stax, and Happy - these are long finished quilts that have languished on the Binding shelf!  It's time for me to get 'em done!!!

Cool Diehl - this quilt is my homage quilt to Kim Diehl.  I love her quilts and, even though I am not a fan of reproduction fabrics, her fabrics are definitely the exception.  I love the light and joy in her fabrics and this quilt has been a joy to do!  It's a small one - only 28 inches square :*)

Soul Searching - one of my favorite Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilts from a few years ago.  It's number has come up on my guild's UFO Challenge, so it will be quilted and bound this month.

Talkin' Turkey - one of Bonnie Hunter's patterns that I've been making with friends.  Working on the pieced borders!

Christmas Tree Mugrugs - I have three to finish - two are ready to quilt!  Pattern is from Kevin the Quilter if you want to make a few yourself :*)

Sassy Circles - my improv circle project from a class taken with Jane Sassaman last summer

Rami Kim Bag - a bag project from a class taken with Rami Kim last year at Quiltfest.  She will be there again this year, so I'd love to have this done to show her :*)

I would absolutely love to finish all of these in the next 3 months!!!  It would be a miracle of course LOL :*)  But I am shooting for at least half of them, and I think I can get more than that done.  Wish me luck!

There are several sites you can choose to go to enjoy the Q1 Finish-A-Long projects being shared this year - it is now global!!!  I'm sharing at Leanne's at She Can Quilt - hope you will join me there!

Hugs & Blessings!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Road to En Provence!

I have a completed En Provence block!

I am tickled pink to have this much to show today :*)  I know there are a few of my fellow quilters who were able to keep up better with the clues and have their tops complete.  But I had to let mine sit for a couple of weeks, and then cut/stitched like a maniac this weekend to play catch-up.

First I had to cut lots of quarter-square triangles for both clues .....

We were finally able to cut into our greens for these clues!  I chose to keep my greens very dark, and then used light yellowy-greens instead of the yellow Bonnie called for.  I'm not usually fond of yellow in a quilt (unless it is a yellow quilt !)  Here are the fabrics I used...

I set up a little production line, using Block #7 I Believe Sampler pieces as my leaders/enders....

My plan was to at least get all of my Clue #6 units made - and I did!

Once these #6 units were done, I had all I needed to put a full block together, which of course I shared at the beginning of the post ;*).  And then I got the #7 units halfway sewn as well .....

I couldn't resist stitching a couple of these together to see how the finished units looked...Pretty!!!

Then of course I had to piece at least one sashing section too!

Oooo - I love that touch of magenta in there!  I think I'm going to really like this quilt.  I will have to go back and make a few more of each clue to give me 9 blocks total, but it feels really great to have almost all of the pieces assembled, ready for making the blocks.  I'll keep you posted!!!

Linking up with Bonnie's Linky Party today where you'll find lots of gorgeous En Provence quilt blocks and quilt tops to enjoy - come on over!!!

Hugs & Blessings!
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